I don’t’ seem to get out much these days, but the nice part about never going anywhere is that when you actually do go out somewhere, people are always so surprised to see you. which leads me to wonder if i should not go out more often.
Tonight, I was trying to count the number of people I do not know in the world. I counted at least 1000 of them in the park while the orchestra played some sort of pretend gypsy music. There were maybe at least 90 musicians in the orchestra who I probably did not know.
But I do not think any of them really knew who I was either.
Besides those 1000, I counted maybe another 1500 complete strangers on my walk along the interstate to the Megabus, which was packed to the gills.
But I mean this literally. I figured there were maybe 209 people in the Megabus, not counting myself or the driver.
And there’s the doorman at my hotel, who recognizes me, and we exchange hello’s, but I can’t say he really knows me. Although I appreciate that he often rewards me with packages addressed to somebody else who hopefully does not know me.
So, according to my calculations, today I have encountered about 2701 people who do not know me.
But here’s something I just realized. I can’t say for sure that I really know that much about them.
And maybe they feel like I do not care about them. But it’s not true. Not true at all. “How could you say that?” I might ask. “You barely even know me!”
Then I might tell them about what happened to me on the subway this morning. This guy seated next to me was reading Essays by Montaigne.
He kept looking over my shoulder as I was pretending to finish The Brothers Karamazov.
But I could not really focus upon it because I was rather distracted, hyper-aware that someone reading Montaigne was looking over my shoulder.
Finally, he turned to me and asked me if Montaigne and Dostoyevsky knew each other.
I tried to explain that one lived in the 19th century while the other did not, although I could not say for sure who was which. But I think I persuaded him that it was probably unlikely that they had met.
I felt bad for the guy because he was under the impression that I knew what I was talking about.
If only he knew who I really was.